Through its inquiry-led, transdisciplinary framework, the IBPYP challenges students to think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts.
P3 students are learning about the economy in Unit of Inquiry: How a Business Works and What Makes A Successful Business. The central idea is economic activity depends on systems of production and consumption. Several entrepreneurs who founded and own businesses were invited to our class to share their business knowledge and experiences.
For last three weeks, Mr. Fan, CEO of an electronic company, Ms. Sun, the owner of a restaurant and Mr. Jiang and Ms. Seary, who run a bakery made their visit to our school and share their creative ideas with the students. Moreover, students were also given the opportunities to pay their visits to a real factory and a bakery to see how they actually run.
Electronic Motor Company
Mr. Fan is the CEO of ZODA, an electronic motor company mainly produces various kinds of motors. His company He has already developed his vast market to different countries all over the world. On 9th Apr, Mr. Fan came to our school and gave a lot of specific information about how to run a business. From product designing, manufacturing to marketing, students were inspired to grow strong interests in this industry. Students even had a science class in the lab to learn how a motor works. This helped them better understand how a motor company runs.
On the morning of 23rd Apr, P3 students went to ZODA Motors Factory (中达电机). Annie, Lily, Sasana loved being treated like VIPs. The students were taken to a media room and learned all about motors. They were surprised by how the products are distributed across oceans to meet the customers. They learned that motors are in demand and have a lot of customers around the world because they can do a lot of things like “in cars, scooters, and vacuum cleaners,” Guru said. ZODA motors are used to make paper, mine minerals, pump water, and circulate air conditioning.
The students thought it was magical that “they can make motors from steel and copper iron,” said Harold, Eli, Guru, and Cindy. They were shocked by how heavy motors are and how many machines and people are needed to make it. John Sebastian said, “I tried picking up the motor but I couldn’t because it was heavy with all the metal discs.”
The field trip was very inspirational to our students. Harold dreamed, “I am inspired to become a CEO of a company.” On the other hand, Annie said, “After visiting, I learned how complicated it is to run a business and I never want to be a CEO.
Ms. Sun’s restaurant Hug Restaurant (Hebaotang) is located in Lixi Park, a small park featured with beautiful scenery. She shared with students the process of opening a restaurant from choosing the location and making the menu, running a restaurant, the organization structure and marketing strategies.
The way of running business is not always easy. Like Ms. Sun said, she also encountered many difficulties. A successful businessman or businesswoman should also be equipped with the capability of solving different problems.
Mr. Jiang and Ms. Searay run a bakery called Tiny Ranger Café together. According to them, running a café is not just operating a business, but also building a community where they can communicate and develop friendships with their customers. Therefore, their priority in this business is not making money, but to make sure every customer is happy and satisfied.
On the morning of 30th Apr, the students went to Tiny Range Café located in Vanke shopping center as well as Mr. Neighbor.
As soon as the students walk in, their mouths started to salivate. The aroma of the baked goods made the students quite hungry to buy food. Sasana commented, “The smell was very good and sweet. It hit you as soon as you walk inside the bakery.” At the Tiny Range Café, the students were amazed by the master baker designing the cake. Ashlyn said, “it was interesting to see the baker design the cake with cream, mango, and blueberries.”
The students then carefully selected the most delicious and tasty baked good. The students counted their money and made their purchase. Next, they went to the convenient store to continue shopping. Alice said, “It was like walking into a whole new world.” Yusaku was shocked by cost of the items were. “I bought coke because it was cheap, only 3 yuan for a bottle so it was good value.” Different students made different purchases. Yuka explained, “I bought chocolate and milk snack because I have only seen it in Japan.”
The field trip was a rich experience for many students. For many students like Daniel and Bella, it was the first time they were a customer in charge of their own money and decision making. Daniel expressed, “I was nervous about buying from the vendor because I have never done it before.” Bella confessed, “I learned how to shop and count the change.”
Harold, Eli, Lily, and Guru explained that the customers need to be smart and commented, “something is good value because of its size, price, and quality.” Annie also expressed that customers need, “to be careful and keep their money safe.”
After these classes and experiences, many students expressed how difficult it is to run a business. Lily said, “Running a business is very complicated, but a successful business must be organized.” But that didn’t stop some students from wanting to run a business. Jade said, “I learned how to make a business. I want to make my own, so I can learn my customers and make them happy with my food.”
Thanks to these specialists’ efforts, students are eager to learn more about business. Future businessmen and businesswomen are actively preparing themselves!